American Exceptionalism: Innovation Plays a Part
Numerous attributes are used to describe American exceptionalism. Our system of governance and founding principles, our military strength and our natural wonders are all commonly referenced when discussing what makes the United States special. However, no conversation about American exceptionalism is complete without a discussion of American innovation and the intellectual property (IP) underpinning it.
U.S. innovation has been a crucial driver in human progress worldwide. American innovation saves lives, facilitates human connections that have sparked revolutions and entertains people worldwide. American pharmaceuticals, computer operating systems, social networking sites and movies are popular and available around the globe. But without strong IP protections, much of this innovation would not occur.
The International Relations (IR) Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council highlighted the importance of IP to America’s innovation economy at the recent States and Nation Policy Summit. Task Force members heard about the release of two new IP guides – Property Rights Alliance’s International Property Rights Index and Citizens Against Government Waste’s Intellectual Property: Making It Personal. The Global Brand Council, a new subsidiary of the Global Intellectual Property Center, also spoke to IR Task Force members about the importance of trademarks to economic growth, and Task Force members considered model policy highlighting the importance of trademark protection. A synopsis of some of what was covered appears in State Elected Officials Stand United on IP .
The Task Force members have studied the importance of IP to America’s innovation economy for several years and will continue to do so. IP is responsible for 34 percent of U.S. GDP and 44 million jobs in all 50 states. IP-intensive jobs tend to pay better than non-IP intensive jobs. ALEC members have authored op-eds on a wide array of IP issues, including the maintenance of strong IP provisions in trade frameworks; the importance of trade secrets; and patent assertion entities. State legislators will continue to lend their voices to the debate as few things characterize American exceptionalism more than American innovation.